by: Jim Bradley Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
The Charlotte City Council voted Monday night to appoint Sen. Dan Clodfelter to complete the unexpired term of former mayor Patrick Cannon, which runs until December 2015.
Last year Clodfelter considered running for Charlotte mayor. He didn't. Now he has the job anyway.
Clodfelter, who is serving his eighth term in the North Carolina Senate, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Pat Cannon, who resigned two weeks ago after being arrested on bribery and corruption charges.
Moments after he was appointed mayor of Charlotte Monday night, Clodfelter met Eyewitness News reporter Jim Bradley for his first comments about his new job.
"I'm a little bit taken aback and a little overwhelmed but very honored," Clodfelter said."
He said he learned of his appointment by watching the City Council's vote on television then quickly found he had felt a lump in his stomach.
It didn't take him long to feel excited though.
"I just think in the next 18 months we can really put all of this behind us. And that's what I really want to do," Clodfelter said. "There's a lot of hurt. In fact, I think in a way if we weren't shocked by this and we weren't feeling hurt by this then I would be worried about this community.
However, he said the community's shock over the arrest and resignation of Cannon shows how much people care about good government.
"The reaction of the community is a good sign. It's a sign that the community really cares about this and that we're going to move beyond this," he said.
Clodfelter will have to resign from the N.C. Senate before he can be sworn in.
He plans to do that Tuesday and then be sworn in as mayor Wednesday.
He said he's ready to get to work on the city's budget and other challenges, including restoring public trust.
Clodfelter said he's confident the city can get beyond the scandal that has shaken the mayor's office.
“This has not changed anything about the kind of place this is,” he said. “And we really just need to shake ourselves really hard and remember that."